(OKLAHOMA CITY) — Zach Randolph scored 28 points and grabbed 14 rebounds as the Memphis Grizzlies advanced to the Western Conference finals for the first time in franchise history by knocking off the Oklahoma City Thunder 88-84 on Wednesday night.
“This is the first time, so it definitely means a lot. I’m happy, but we’ve still got work to do,” Randolph said. “I want to win a ring.”
Mike Conley added 13 points and 11 assists for the fifth-seeded Grizzlies, who had won just one postseason series coming into the season.
They used their trademark grit-and-grind mentality to defeat two high-scoring the teams, the Thunder and the Los Angeles Clippers.
Kevin Durant finished with 21 points on 5-for-21 shooting, but missed a shot with six seconds left that would have tied the game at 86. They trailed by 12 points with three minutes remaining but mounted a furious comeback that came up just short.
“I gave it all I had for my team. I left it all out there on the floor,” Durant said. “I missed 16 shots, but I kept fighting, I kept being aggressive. That’s all I can ask for.”
The Thunder were playing without All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook for most of the postseason after he tore his meniscus in the first round.
Memphis will play either the Golden State Warriors or the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference finals.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Jill Martin, CNN
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire